Waterslide Christianity: Along for the Ride
The very term might cause some Christians apoplexy. It can conjure up visions of “name it and claim it” prosperity-type philosophies that promote faith as the means to a life of success, ease, and million-dollar mansions.
However, that isn’t the case here.
It originated with Rich’s family’s visit to a large water park. Filled with waterslides and other activities, it excited the youngsters so much they wanted to do everything at once.
Rich’s grandson was about two years old at the time and wanted to go down the largest waterslide of all. And, he wanted to do it by himself.
Followed by his father, he trudged to the top. Things looked a bit higher and more challenging from up high, but the brave lad pushed off.
Ironically, he was too light to sustain any momentum. Just when he slipped out of sight around one of the sharp turns, he stopped dead in his tracks. There he sat in the middle of the waterslide, immobilized.
Fortunately, his father was zooming along behind him. As he rounded the bend in the slide, there sat his son. Too late to slow down, let alone stop, he had no room to get around his son, either.
So Dad did the only thing he could: reach out his arms, sweep his son into his lap, and carry him at full speed to the bottom.
“I sometimes say that entering God’s rest can be called ‘waterslide Christianity,’” Rich writes. “We get excited about the heights, the thrill of the ride, and unseen and unexpected turns, only to realize we don’t have enough ‘weight’ to carry us all the way.
“Those who are successful in work as ministry are usually those who have chosen the steepest slide of all. Namely, the fastest and most challenging. In the end it works, but not because of their super powers or exceedingly great wisdom. Instead, because they are on God’s path, He is there to pick them up and carry them at His speed.”
I still love the image that comes to mind whenever I re-read the story of Rich’s grandson. Stuck in a curve with no hope of going further, only to be picked up his father and carried to the bottom.
What’s more, he enjoyed the thrill of zooming down the slide without fear of accidents, injuries, or things careening out of control.
Safe in his father’s arms. A perfect allegory for our relationship with our heavenly Father.
We live in a world fraught with controversy, school shootings, threats of war, and calamities so frequent that a lot of people get upset just by tuning in to the latest newscast.
I don’t want to minimize the dangers of life as we step into 2019.
Yet, it is worth remembering that as we plunge down the treacherous slide of modern times, none of the twists and turns ahead are a surprise to God.
He isn’t upset or bothered, and His emotions aren’t running out of control.
We can, as Rich writes, ride along on His safety and protection, all the way to the end.
“God’s rest is not ceasing from action, but getting in on the right action,” Rich says. “Find out what God is doing, get involved in His activity, and He will carry you safely to the goal.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.